THE RICHARD AND JUDY BESTSELLER
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***PRE-ORDER DAWNLANDS, THE STUNNING NEW NOVEL FROM PHILIPPA GREGORY, OUT SOON IN PAPERBACK***
England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .
Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.
Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.
Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.
THE BRAND NEW SERIES FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Praise for Philippa Gregory:
‘Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told’ The Times
'Philippa Gregory is truly the mistress of the historical novel. It would be hard to make history more entertaining, lively or engaging' Sunday Express
‘Gregory has popularised Tudor history perhaps more than any other living fiction writer . . . All of her books feature strong, complex women, doing their best to improve their lives in worlds dominated by men’ Sunday Times
'Immaculate research, pacy narratives and a stubborn insistence that history is not only about men . . . a powerful reminder of how precarious the lives of the Tudor women could be' Daily Mail
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
There’s good reason why Philippa Gregory has been tagged the Queen of British historical fiction. Very few authors can match the prolific author’s startling attention to detail and beautifully atmospheric writing. Tidelands—the first in her Fairmile series—ranks as one of Gregory’s very best books. It’s set on the Sussex coast during the English Civil War in the mid 17th century and tracks a cracking female lead: Alinor, a widowed young mother and healer facing torrid accusations of witchcraft. But this is also a torrid and endlessly fascinating love story. Alinor’s life is further complicated by the arrival of a callow priest named James—in hiding as a Catholic and a Royalist spy in newly puritan England under Oliver Cromwell.
Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl) deviates from her usual focus on historical figures to shine a light on the plight of common women in 1640s England in the dynamic first book of her new Fairmile series. Alinor, a midwife with knowledge of herbal remedies, is in difficult circumstances. Her fisherman husband has been gone for months, and she must care for herself and her two growing children during a precarious time in England's history. King Charles, forced off his throne by Parliament, has been banished to the Isle of Wight following his defeat in civil war. It's also a period when a strong woman on her own, like the beautiful Alinor who has skills that others can't understand, can easily be accused of being a witch; the author cleverly plants such seeds of suspicion throughout. At the open, Alinor meets a handsome, young Catholic priest, a royals champion with the means to help the king escape. She helps the priest find a haven, and their ensuing romance has devastating consequences for both. Against the backdrop of political turmoil, Gregory's narrative displays the harrowing mores of the time, showcasing the vulnerability of women who speak their mind and introducing a family struggling out of poverty who will provide plenty of grist for the mill of a continuing saga. History buffs and Gregory's fans alike will be anticipating the next installment.